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SD Babies To Be Part Of Biggest U.S. Child Health Study

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Aired 1/10/11

San Diego kicks off the largest long-term study ever done in the U.S. on child health and development. The children in the study will be followed from the womb to age 21.

— San Diego kicks off the largest long-term study ever done in the United States on child health and development. The children in the study will be followed from the womb to age 21.

The National Children’s study will follow 100,000 participants throughout the U.S. Among them, 1,000 women of childbearing age in San Diego will be recruited from randomly selected neighborhoods, starting in North Park.

A new study throughout the U.S. will follow a select few women from pregnancy for 21 years.
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Above: A new study throughout the U.S. will follow a select few women from pregnancy for 21 years.

Mel Hovell, PhD is a co-principal investigator at San Diego State University. He said the effects of air and water quality, as well as diet, genetics, culture and other factors, will be examined over the next two decades.

“The study will provide huge amounts of information that might point to causes of various diseases and conditions and set the stage to treat them better or prevent them in the first place,” said Hovell.

And, we won’t have to wait 21 years for results. Hovell said significant data will be released as it’s discovered.

He also said samples and information will be gathered from the participant’s home and medical exams including blood samples.

“We are going to be collecting information at the home. We’ll also be collecting information at the birth, if possible. And we’ll be intermittently interviewing people by telephone and at home over the course of 21 years,” said Hovell.

UCSD researcher Christina Chambers, PhD shares the co-principal investigator role with Hovell.

She said the massive 21-year study was paid for by a special congressional mandate. The money was then awarded through organizations such as the National Institutes of Health.

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